A court has rejected a 60-year-old man's attempt to invoke the ancient right to trial by combat, rather than pay a £25 fine for a minor motoring offence.
Leon Humphreys remained adamant yesterday that his right to fight a champion nominated by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) was still valid under European human rights legislation. He said it would have been a "reasonable" way to settle the matter.
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Magistrates sitting at Bury St Edmunds on Friday had disagreed and instead of accepting his offer to take on a clerk from Swansea with "samurai swords, Ghurka knives or heavy hammers", fined him £200 with £100 costs.
Humphreys, an unemployed mechanic, was taken to court after refusing to pay the original £25 fixed penalty for failing to notify the DVLA that his Suzuki motorcycle was off the road.
After entering a not guilty plea, he threw down his unconventional challenge. Humphreys, from Bury St Edmunds, said: "I was willing to fight a champion put up by the DVLA, but it would have been a fight to the death."